How to create a Partnership Agreement (Individuals)

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What is a Partnership Agreement (Individuals)?

Partnership Agreement (Individuals)
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A Partnership Agreement (Individuals) is a contract among partners who carry on a business as a partnership.

A Partnership Agreement (Individuals) sets out the basic rules on which the partnership operates, e.g. how accounts are prepared or how funds can be withdrawn.

A Partnership Agreement (Individuals) also sets out the powers and duties of each partner, and most importantly how the profits and losses are shared among them.

Why is it important to specify an individual in a partnership agreement?

All parties who have signed the partnership agreement are equally liable in terms on obligations and in the cases of debt too. It is important to specify a partner as an individual as the legal status of the partner has its own tax implications.

What are other names for a Partnership Agreement?

It is also known as.

  • General Partnership Agreement
  • Partnership Contract
  • Articles of Partnership
  • Business Partnership Agreement

What to include in your partnership agreement?

Here are some major topics that need to be covered in a partnership agreement

  • Details of the individual partners: Important details such as names and contact details must be clarified in a partnership agreement. It should mention who is involved in the partnership so the roles of all are well understood.
  • Contributions to the partnership in terms of capital/investment: If individuals are banding or coming together to invest in something, the partnership agreement needs to mention the contribution of each individual partner. Oftentimes this can be the basis for the ownership percentage of the business.
  • Allocation of profits, losses, and draws: the terms for sharing the profits and losses have to be mentioned in the agreement. This should also dictate when the profits of a business can be withdrawn.
  • Partners’ authority: This is also known as binding power. A partnership agreement must have terms to address which of the individual partner will have the authority to bind the company.
  • Decision-making: Whether it is managerial decisions or ones related to marketing and logistics, an individual partnership agreement should clearly state which partner holds the right to make decisions in different business jurisdictions.
  • Withdrawal or death of a partner: The agreement should have terms defining what will happen if there is a sudden withdrawal by a partner or they face sudden death.
  • Dissolving of partnership: In case of dissolution how will both the individuals move ahead with the partnership? Will one partner obtain the other right or will the business along with the partnership cease to exist anymore? This needs to be clarified beforehand in the terms of the contract.
  • Resolving disputes: dispute resolution can be challenging. It most often arises when individuals cannot come to a common understanding or agreement in the decision-making process. A partnership agreement should have the terms laid about the entire decision-making process. This can include having a voting system in place or some other method with which some form of check and balance can be maintained among the partners such as mediation intervention.

Why is it important to have a Partnership Agreement for individuals?

Partnership Agreements are valuable as they formally state all partner’s rights and responsibilities. It allows partners to customize the law and shape the partnership as required them. For individuals, this means there is a clear line between what is acceptable and not, as well as what is to be done and what shouldn’t be done. This will lead to a harmonious relationship moving forward as it also acts as guidelines and provides rules for partners to follow to avoid disagreements or issues in the future as well as to resolve them. Most importantly, having a partnership agreement formally secures your position as a partner for the future.

An individual partnership agreement is usually signed by family, spouses, friends, or colleagues.

Is it legally mandatory to sign a partnership agreement?

Nope. It is perfectly fine and legal to not sign a Partnership Agreement. It isn’t mandatory and is not enforced. However, it is legally more beneficial to sign one. It comes with some advantages for all signing partners.

Common Roles and Responsibilities assigned in a partnership agreement

Generally, the responsibilities include keeping accurate financial records including the record of taxes and other finances. Partners are also expected to give in individual managerial direction. Depending upon the industry and what has been agreed upon, individual partners must share the following roles and responsibilities:

  1. Managing employees or teams.
  2. Getting involved in marketing activities
  3. Building client relationships
  4. Tracking financial objectives
  5. Executing strategic activities

The primary duty of an individual partner is usually to support the other partners in their tasks. The scope as well as the depth of each partner’s role depends on several factors.

Can Partnership Agreements be modified? Are they legally changeable?

Yes, partnership agreements are not set in stone. At times it becomes necessary to update the agreement and make changes as per the time so you can make the required modifications to your contract. However, the changes have to be made in the unanimous agreement of the signing partners.

Conclusion

A partnership agreement or contract outlines the rights, responsibilities as well as the agreement of profit and loss among the partners and sets forth the general rules of the partnership. Each agreement is always unique and its terms will depend on the scope as well as the objectives for which it has been signed. Generally, the terms will include a percentage of ownership of each individual partner, length of the agreement, profit and loss, dispute resolution, authority, withdrawal, and dissolution.

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